Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Raw Milk Update: Maine Governor Vetoes Bill that Would Have Exempted Small Farmers’ Raw Milk From Licensing and Inspection

On July 8, 2013, Maine Governor Paul LePage vetoed LD  1282, entitled “An Act To Help Small Farmers in Selling Raw Milk Products.”  Upon return to the Maine Senate on July 9, the Senate voted not to overturn the Governor’s veto of the bill.
Currently, dairy producers in Maine must apply to the state for licensing and both their facilities and products must undergo inspections.  This regulation applies to both pasteurized and raw dairy products.  LD 1282 would have exempted small dairy producers, those who produce less than 20 gallons of raw milk daily, from the licensing and inspection regulations.  The Maine Legislature passed this bill in June, after the measure was amended to require raw milk producers to test their product regularly, under guidelines set by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
In his statement concerning the veto, Gov. LePage expressed his support for the majority of the content in the bill, but stated that his concern was the inclusion of provisions which would allow raw milk producers to sell their product at farmers’ markets.  LePage stated that he would support a modified version of the bill which permitted “on Farm only” sales of raw milk.
For more information, please see the Maine Legislature’s website on LD 1282 and the Current Issues section of the Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center’s website.

Written By Gaby Gilbeau – Research Assistant

The Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center

July 17, 2013

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